This time, we welcomed Stirling Austin as guest speaker, who helped us think about how we market ourselves as language professionals and how we could widen our business offer.
Host Gabriella Ferenczi introduced the speaker to our audience of language professionals tuning in from different corners of the world.
We had the pleasure to meet Stirling some months ago at one of our events. Since then, he has frequently attended our monthly meetings and he stood out for being a multitalented professional: after a spell as a professional musician he decided to dedicate himself fully to web design.
Languages are an asset. They are valuable resources which we own and, as language professionals, we can use them in different ways to build our business. However, assets are not often valued in the way they should and a lot of people don’t look at the quality of what we are providing.
Stirling defines the language market as “unprofitably competitive”: there is always somebody who makes cheaper prices. But the lower you go, the more it is a race to the bottom.
“Languages get commoditised like music. The value placed on language skills is subjective: when people don’t understand another language they don’t always see the value you can bring to the table.”
Some people say that the language market is saturated, but there is still potential out there.
The key is in this simple 3-word phrase: Sweating Your Assets. In other words: get as much use as possible out of what you already possess.
You are more than what you have become.
Combining his languages and his international business experience with web design skills, Stirling managed to differentiate himself from other players in the market.
As he explains, there are so many things we could do as language professionals, and now with the help of technology there are no limits. The only thing we need is look at what we have from a broader perspective and think outside the box.
“We need to think about what are our goals and what is our WHY: why are we doing this? At some point in my life, I decided to devote myself to music, making the choice not to earn a lot. In fact, you do not make music if you want to make money, you do it because you want to. And that is enough, it is absolutely fine, that is your WHY. “
Stirling has then taken us inside his world on a more deeper level: plugins, multilingual SEO, web design and cultural differences, flags etc. So many useful things to keep in mind and consider when it comes to creating a multilingual website.
The event went on with a Q&A session, followed by 30-second intro pitches and exchange of contact details.
As Stirling stated, the purpose of his talk wasn’t providing us with answers but rather with questions. A talk that has surely provoked our thought and left us all with many things to think over and consider.
Stirling also included a generous website package offer at the bottom of his slides. Make sure to check that out if it’s of interest.
About the speaker, Stirling Austin:
Stirling Austin is a passionate entrepreneur with a successful track record of creating and developing manufacturing, distribution and services businesses in the UK, France and across Europe.
Bilingual French/English Stirling now runs Pixel Executive, a digital services agency that builds brochure and e-commerce sites, as well as multilingual websites.
Reach out to Stirling via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stirlingaustin/
Thanks to all the language professionals who attended and actively contributed to this conversation, regardless of the time zone. The money we have raised goes to support Moorfields Eye Charity.
Stay tuned for our next event, which will be on the 26th of March! We’ll share the details soon. Until then, stay safe.